Chile opens first investment office in Asia

Isabel Cocker/The Santiago Times Staff

SANTIAGO – The Chilean Government announced on Wednesday that it will be opening an investment office in Tokyo, the first of its kind in Asia for the South American country.

The hope is that it will serve as a “bridge” to attract more investment by Japanese businesses to the country.

Japan is Chile’s fourth largest trade partner, after China, the USA and the EU, and in 2011 the value of commerce between the two countries was just over US$12billion. However, this has since fallen, reaching only US$7.4billion in 2015.

The announcement was made during a visit from a Chilean delegation to the Japanese capital, during which Chilean businesses and potential Japanese partners will take part in a range of seminars and visits to encourage investment.

The delegation is led by ex-President Eduardo Frei, currently the Special Ambassador for Asia-Pacific, the head of the Department for International Economic Relations, Paulina Nazal, and Carlos Álvarez, the director of InvestChile.

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Álvarez underlined that “the principal reason for our visit is to stimulate our efforts in promoting investment in Chile”. He added that the government is “convinced that there is potential to attract even more Japanese investment”, highlighting the sectors of information technology, mining tools and solar energy as ones with “large growth margins” which are “very interesting for Japanese businesses”.

Ex-President Frei commented that Japanese businesses “have been great investors” and that he valued the “very fluid relationship” between the two countries, which has reached 120 years of mutual trade.